Dream a Little Dream: The 20th Anniversary Of an Organization That Makes Dreams a Reality

The Dream Foundation has some fun and raises money for veterans

I experienced a first this weekend at Bacara Resort at the Celebration of Dreams Gala, where The Dream Foundation celebrated their 20th Anniversary: As Andrew Firestone whipped the room up into a frenzy during a live auction (he and his wife Ivana really are good at getting dough out of people), I witnessed a 12-year-old kid get up onstage, raise his bidder number over and over, and pledge $15,000 for a Hollywood package that included meeting Adam Levine at The Voice. Usually bidders are a bit older, but the kid was good for the money (his parents were egging him on from the side). The org helps people 18 years and older (over 20,000 of them to date) with terminal illnesses fulfill their dreams—whether it is talking with Laker Kobe Bryant or getting a pair of shoes from Lady Gaga.

The do-gooders getting the nods were Paul Mitchell and Patron Spirits co-founder John Paul DeJoria and the Biotechnology company Genentech. The org also introduced its new Executive Director Kisa Heyer, who said she went from gala guest to head of the cause after founder Thomas Rollerson stepped down. Bill Medley and his daughter McKenna welcomed guests by performing “Time Of My Life.” I was kind of disappointed that everyone didn’t get up and start dancing in unison—Dirty Dancing style. KT Tunstell also got up (in a gorgeous pair of rose gold rocker pants) to have a sing-a-long, and as if you weren’t crying already listening to the stories of dream recipients, David Ryan Harris took to the stage to sing a few gorgeous but morose songs. Who tried hard not to dab at their eyes? Nigel Lythgoe and Priscilla Presley, among many others. I left while people were still dancing at the party and patronizing the Carl’s Jr. truck parked out by the valet. The last word goes to DeJoria, who donated $100,000 to see veterans’ dreams fulfilled (calling it Dreams for Veterans) who said this about giving: “Success unshared is failure.”

Photograph by Mark Davis / Getty Images for Dream Foundation